While most of us fake our tans, there are many reasons people love the sun. Applying a tan boosts serotonin levels, which helps reduce anxiety. The tan will also produce vitamin D that is healthy for skin, teeth, and bones. However, you should know how to enhance and prolong your tan without damaging your skin. By doing this you will avoid premature ageing and skin cancer. You should follow these tips and tricks to get a perfect suntan every time.
1. You should always avoid sun beds
Do not fall for the lies by salons that they will you give you a tan with a sun bed. This is so wrong as these beds give out huge amounts of UVA. They do not produce any UVB, which stimulates vitamin D. Not having UVB will increase the chances of your skin developing skin cancer by up to 75 per cent.
2. Apply the right sunscreen
You should always ensure that you use the right sunscreen. We have diverse skin types and you should seek the advice of a dermatologist. You should always go for an SPF 30 over SPF50. SPF30 filters more than 97 per cent of Ultra Violet B rays, whereas SPF50 will filter over 98 per cent. The SPF50 may sometimes give you a chalky appearance and you will have to re-apply it every two hours. For those who have dark skin you should use SPF15.
3. Get your tanning time right
When your skin cannot produce melanin, it has reached its tanning cut-off point. When your skin reaches this point, it serves no purpose to tan and stay by the pool all day. Everyone has a cut-off point for his or her melanin, and three to four hours is enough, or less for those who have soft skin.
4. Seek some shade
You should always take breaks from the sun. This will reduce the intensity of the UV on your skin. It will also reduce the risk of getting sunburn; your tan will remain healthy and will last for a long time.
5. Use supplements instead of ‘tan-accelerating’ creams
You should avoid tan-accelerating creams at all cost. There is nothing that you apply on your skin that will help it produce more melanin. Melanin is the dark pigment that protects the skin from UV rays. Nevertheless, taking a supplement of 25g beta-caretone will boost melanin’s production. This does not mean that you should reduce the sunscreen you use; all it means is that your skins natural defense improves.
6. Eat food that is sun-friendly
There are foods that will help you increase Lycopene, which is the skin natural SPF. Lycopene is an antioxidant that is found in oranges, fruits, vegetables, and tomatoes. By consuming these foods, you increase your sun protection by up to 33 per cent. One of the best sources for Lycopene is tomato paste.
There is another antioxidant called Polyphenols. Green tea has plenty of it. Make sure you drink at least one cup every day. Fish, which is rich with Omega-3, has anti-inflammatory powers that protect your skin.
Dark chocolate has flavonoids that protect your skin from sunburn, whereas caffeine will help cut your risk of skin cancer. Drink at least one cup of caffeine, or chocolate, before you head out to the beach.
If everything else fails, you can fake it. There are so many tanning products on the market today. They range from spray bottles to tanning mousse. If you are unable to reach all your body parts, you can have a friend help you with tanning your body. Alternatively, you can visit a salon and get your tan before you head to the beach.
Remember, you should be very careful as to how much you expose yourself to the sun. Ensure you have breaks when you are sunbathing.
7. Shave and exfoliate before you tan
To ensure you get an even tan, you should exfoliate, shave, and shower before you tan. You should do this even if you are using professional tan spray. By exfoliating and taking a shower, you remove the dead and dry skin. Dry, dead skin will leave your tan patchy. If you do this after tanning, it will make your skin look messy.
8. Use a water-based moisturizer
It is obvious that certain parts of your skin appear darker than other parts. The self-tanner will saturate dry areas like the elbows and knees. This is why you need to moisturize your body beforehand to get a consistent tan. You should use an aloe Vera based or water based moisturizer. Creams that have oil will be a barrier to your skin and cause the tan to streak all over your body.
Make sure the moisturizer absorbs into your skin before you apply tanning agents.
9. Find the right tanning formula for your skin
Not all products are equal. Unfortunately, the only way you can find out which one works for you is through reviews, research, and trial and error. You should go to the internet and read the reviews of others. You may also seek the services of a professional. There are so many products on the market and you can definitely get one that suits you.
10. Remove all traces of perfume, make-up, or deodorant
Again, all these products act as a barrier to your tan while others might cause irritation. For these reasons ensure you remove them before tanning.
11. Apply your tan in a cool, dry environment
Do not apply your tanning solution immediately when you step out of the bathroom. The steam and heat inside the room will cause your skin to not dry well and that is a big no-no when you want to apply a tan properly.